Monday, November 17, 2008

OOA Honors SEAN PENN, Mike Ferrell and Veterans for Peace

I got a major birthday gift. November has been full of fun surprises. One of my dear friends in Italy rang me up out of the blue. He didn't know it was my birthday. We talked about watching our parents age. And seeing them as fragile beings like ourselves. We talked about children. Realizing we all become dust and that life is meant to be LIVED! Anyway, it was a nice surprise. Later, I spent the evening with some very special people. I had the pleasure of attending the OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS 25th Anniversary Gala. Celebrating 25 Years of Waging Peace honoring Mike Ferrell, Sean Penn and Veterans for Peace. What a great evening. I met some new and saw some familiar faces. Over the past several years I've walked in many Peace Marches. I've photographed Mike Ferrell, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Ron Kovic before. This event was so intimate and I had the pleasure of shooting
Diane Lane (star of UNFAITHFUL), her husband Josh Brolin (star of W), Robin Wright Penn and one of the greatest actors and humanitarians SEAN PENN (star of MILK and the upcoming TREE OF LIFE with Brad Pitt).
Here are just a few moments of the event. The last time I saw Sean Penn he wasn't with Robin. He didn't look too happy at the time. It was good to see them together looking very much in love. Wright like Rain! Robin Wright Penn besides being an actress (FORREST GUMP), she is also a director.
Diane Lane was charming and beautiful. Her southern accent is quite beguiling. Her man Josh Brolin looked very handsome in his black suit. Brolin gave the introductory speech for Honoree Sean Penn. Congresswoman Maxine Waters gave the intro for Honoree Mike Ferrell (star of M.A.S.H.). Mike is also an activist and humanitarian.
The highlights of the evening included singing by Tom English, Veterans for Peace members taking the stage and being introduced by
Ron Kovic, Mike Ferrell's speech, a film about the OOA and of course Sean Penn's speech.
What can I say about people like Sean Penn and Mike Ferrell? Who stand up for what the believe in when so many fall silent because of fear of loosing popularity or a job. Courage is lacking in Hollywood. Sean Penn has aided Hurricane Katrina Victims, gone to Iraq and reported from there, met with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and has written numerous articles as a journalist. His humanitarian work aids him as an actor.
I have mad respect for Penn and those like him. His new movie MILK comes out soon.
Kudus to Blase and Theresa Bonpane and the volunteers of the Office of the Americas for their continuous service in waging peace around the globe.

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